Lessons from the Video World ONA 09

Videos showing how to get things done, we were told at the Online News Association (ONA 09) conference last week in San Francisco, are very popular. Spur of the moment gets, sometimes by a non-video reporter with a very basic camera, are also effective.

What works on the Internet generally is more raw and authentic, and less processed than on television, without forgetting that viewers are much more forgiving of bad video than bad audio.

The most impressive video I saw that was showcased was an AP story about an Afghan family's spiral into opium addiction by videographer/photographer Julie Jacobson.

I thought the video could have been a bit longer to get deeper into a few of the character's stories and context, rather than just depicting their grim reality, but I liked how a big international story was portrayed from a small hut in the words of a single family.

The winner of ONA's video category for big sites was a humorous and biting compilation of the run-up to the 2008 presidential election by Slate.

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